IRDye78 conjugates for near-infrared fluorescence imaging

Atif Zaheer, Thomas E. Wheat, John V. Frangioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The detection of human malignancies by near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence will require the conjugation of cancer-specific ligands to NIR fluorophores that have optimal photoproperties and pharmacokinetics. IRDye78, a tetra-sulfonated heptamethine indocyanine NIR fluorophore, meets most of the criteria for an in vivo imaging agent, and is available as an N-hydroxysuccinimide ester for conjugation to low-molecular-weight ligands. However, IRDye78 has a high charge-to-mass ratio, complicating purification of conjugates. It also has a potentially labile linkage between fluorophore and ligand. We have developed an ion-pairing purification strategy for IRDye78 that can be performed with a standard C18 column under neutral conditions, thus preserving the stability of fluorophore, ligand, and conjugate. By employing parallel evaporative light scatter and absorbance detectors, all reactants and products are identified, and conjugate purity is maximized. We describe reversible and irreversible conversions of IRDye78 that can occur during sample purification, and describe methods for preserving conjugate stability. Using seven ligands, spanning several classes of small molecules and peptides (neutral, charged, and/or hydrophobic), we illustrate the robustness of these methods, and confirm that IRDye78 conjugates so purified retain bioactivity and permit NIR fluorescence imaging of specific targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular imaging
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conjugation
  • IRDye78
  • Low-molecular-weight ligands
  • Near-infrared fluorescence imaging
  • Near-infrared fluorophores
  • Purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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